Horse dies in Knott's stagecoach ride accident

Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2003 11:38 AM | Contributed by supermandl34

Brakes on an amusement park stagecoach ride failed and the horses leading it ran into a fence, injuring three people and killing one horse, officials said at Knott's Berry Farm.

Read more from AP via The Mercury News,

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 11:45 AM
How awful!

mOOSH

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 11:48 AM
Can someone explain this ride a little better? I don't see how a brake failure causes horses to run into a fence.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 12:01 PM
I know nothing about this particular ride, but I do know that a brake failure on a horse drawn wagon on a down hill stretch can cause gravity to make the wagon push the horses out of control. That's why horse drawn wagons usually go slower downhill than up.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 12:03 PM
I've never seen this ride before. But if it is a horse pulling a stage coach in an open field, here's my guess. If the brakes we're to fail at a decent rate of speed, the horse alone would have trouble stopping the coach and it would push the horse till something else stopped it. If the person in control of the horse tried to make him turn with the coach, it would probably flip it, possibly injuring riders worse. I guess it would be better to ram a horse into something and get it killed than have stagecoach roll over on its riders , if put in that situation. Like I said, I've never seen this ride, but that's what I picture in my mind from what information I've read.

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Shut it up!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 12:09 PM
The stagecoach has hydraulic brakes which should prevent the horses from pulling it, particularly during load and unload. For some reason the horses took off and the coach couldn't be slowed, resulting in the horses running into a barrier or fence.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 12:26 PM
The stagecoach route is on an elevated stretch of concrete that encircles Camp Snoopy and Fiestas Village, I believe. The outer edges are bordered off by fencing and hedges.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 12:38 PM
The route is not completely elevated, only where is crosses the entrance to Camp Snoopy and Indian Trails. The station and most of the trail is at ground level.

mOOSH

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 3:46 PM
Why are live horses used on an amusement park attraction? This is ridiculous and sad.

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"You know its a good ride when you come into the final brake run wiping tears from your eyes."

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 4:18 PM
Horses are used on this attraction because it is a real stagecoach, a classic ride at Knott's. Using fake horses and motorizing the coach just wouldn't give the same experience.

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Knott's Unlimited
http://www.knottsunlimited.com
"Your Guide To The Farm"

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 4:28 PM
The horses used on thie attraction are treated incredibly well. Its not like they have 4 horses working all day, every day. After riding the stagecoach a while back, I was told that they have over 40 horses, and that the horses work 3 hours a day, every other day. I'd say that most ride ops work more than that. :)

Besides, if you took away the horses, you may as well take away the ride- the authentic old west experience (with the horses) is what has kept this ride popular for about 50 years at the park.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003 7:59 PM
The horses flipped out. They gallopped full speed through the pedestrian crossing gates, breaking legs and running past Supreme Scream into the wall when they couldnt make the turn due to the stagecoach being attached to them. It caused a pretty good stir by those crossing gates, but Knotts did a very good job. Saw it all happen...pretty wierd. SS got shut down.
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Thursday, August 21, 2003 7:20 AM
This reminds me of a story about Disneyland...but it's too grusome to share here. Anyway, this is really sad.

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"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

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Friday, August 22, 2003 11:46 PM
Here's a link to another story in the incident. It includes a graphic of the route and where the accident occured as well.

http://www2.ocregister.com/ocrweb/ocr/article.do?id=53234&section=LOCAL&subsection=LOCAL&year=2003&month=8&day=20

It's a strange accident. Because the ride travels over a very high (for horses and a stagecoach) wooden bridge, about 25-30 feet over the Camp Snoopy midway before heading down a curving ramp back to ground level. This is right before the station. So the driver must have had working brakes during the long decline before the station as it would have crashed there if he did not. The drivers have to ride the brakes here and go pretty slow.

Then somehow the brakes no longer worked once the station was reached and they kept going. It's really very odd. And it's lucky a bunch of people weren't hurt at the crossing. It must have been going fast enough to get over the little rise (bridge) that comes after the station, but slow enough that the crossing attendents had enough time to close the gates as normal.

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Sunday, August 24, 2003 3:54 AM
I couldn't help reacting to the story that one of the riders complained of high blood pressure. I mean, this stagecoach driver probably forced the horses into a fence to safely stop the ride at the expense of the lives of these animals and one of 11 riders goes to the hospital complaining of high blood pressure??

That's a person who can't deal with the realities of life because sometimes it can be just to real.

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If I'da thought about it a little longer, I'da spent more time thinking.

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